Key Stages Explained

There are 3 Key Stages within the Academy. These are housed in their own pavilions. Staff work in close knit teams where all staff take responsibility for all children.

Key Stages Classes Ages
Foundation Stage Tree Tots, Nursery and Reception 2-5 years
Key Stage 1 Year 1 and Year 2 5-7 years
Lower Key Stage 2 Year 3 and Year 4 7-9 years
Upper Key Stage 2 Year 5 and Year 6 9-11 years

Underpinning each Key Stage is a strong and rigorous desire by staff to know each child as an individual and therefore make personalised decisions about the required provision needed to support and challenge the children’s progress.

Planning is skilled based within structures which allow staff to be creative and motivational in their teaching allowing and creating enthused, knowledgeable, independent and resilient learners.

Foundation Stage

Primary Focus: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Talking and Listening and Basic Phonological Skills

Children enjoy a rich and inspiring learning environment where they can explore, experiment and investigate both indoors and outdoors. All children take part in a wide range of hands on and practical learning experiences on a 1-1, in small groups and in larger groups. There is a balance of self-initiated activities where the practitioner skilfully intervenes at the point of learning and focussed group learning.

Continuous Provision

Continuous provision in the Foundation Stage is where children are allowed to choose where they want to learn through play. During this time, activities are set up both indoors and outdoors for the children to access, both independently and with an adult. These activities are typically open-ended and encourage forensic thinkers in our children. All activities are based upon the children’s next steps in learning ensuring that children are challenged at all times.

Pupil Pupil Girl orange painted hands


Key Stage 1

Primary Focus: Reading and Basic Skills

Year 1

Throughout year 1, as a continuation from the Foundation Stage, children still have the opportunity to access some of their learning through continuous provision. This becomes more structured and challenging throughout the Autumn term. By the end of year 1, children enjoy whole class, small group and 1:1 teaching as well as accessing challenge activities in Kagan groupings, This diverse range of teaching opportunities allows all children to learn in an engaging and creative way.

Year 2

Following from year 1, children are now able to access learning in a more formalised way. This involves active personalized learning based on children’s interests. Children are encouraged to be independent learners through kinesthetic application projects.

Key Stage 2

Primary Focus: Basic Skills and Assessment for learning

From Year 3 to Year 6, as a continuation from Key Stage 1, children have the opportunity to access learning through practical based activities, following a variety of teaching strategies and approaches.

English is delivered following a timeline approach, which includes daily text interrogation with integral spelling, grammar and punctuation skills bursts and writing (both in groups and independently). We, at Lime Tree, encourage children to become authors and not just write for the sake of writing. The genres which we follow are tracked throughout the school and are covered through creative stimulus, personalised to the children’s interest.

Maths is taught through a skills and application approach, building on the basic skills taught lower down the school. Each lesson consists of skills bursts (a how to session) and then an application, which is a problem based approach set around a context the children may come across in their lives, if not now, but in the future. Again developing real mathematicians who have a love for numbers.

Theme is delivered through  the TASC approach focusing primarily on either Geography or History at any one time. This is again monitored to ensure that each Theme TASC is never repeated and is unique to them, again following the children’s interests and questions.

Throughout the whole of Key Stage 2 quality first teaching is our priority and intervention strategies are in place alongside this, which consists of whole class, small group and 1:1 teaching. Our diverse range of teaching approaches allows our children to continually learn whilst providing a nurturing environment where they strive to do their very best.